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The Mind's Eye 

Volume 3 Number 1 


The Mind's Eye is a journal of review and comment 
published six times aWing the college year 
at North Adams, Massachusetts 1 247 


The founder of the American Civil Liberties 
Union on free speech, the United Nations, 
democracy, and human rights 


Charles Mclsaac 5 TO A MINISTER 


8 The Periodical Press 



Michael Haines 2 The Editor's File 

8 Contributors 

"Waitings Which Ripen Hopes Are Not Delays" 

Toward the end of his lightsome book Here at the New Yorker , a work of 
coruscating wit about the writers, artists, and editors who have 
labored on that distinguished journal, Brendan Gill remarks that "lack 
of productivity is neither rebuked nor deplored. On the contrary, it 
may be sneakingly admired as proof that the magazine considers writing 
an occupation often difficult and sometimes, for the best writers, 
impossible." So also this little review, The Mind's Eye , which seeks 
to pluck good writing from a tiny community of scholars, teachers, and 
students. It trades on generous instincts and waits for the well- 
crafted article, story, poem, review, comment, reflection, letter. 
Robert Frost is reputed to have said, "The bravest man in the world is 
he who enters his study, closes the door, and sits down at his desk 
facing a blank piece of paper." Students of the old egotist may take 
that from whence it comes. Another professional writer observed 
recently that many writers, himself included, bang on a typewriter to 
find out if they have anything to say. Try that on. 

October UTS 


W, Anthony Gengarelly 
Stephen A. Green 
R. Michael Haines 
Charles Mclsaac 
Thomas A. Mulkeen 
Ellen Schiff 


Charles Mclsaac 


The Editor's File 

by Michael Haines 

Ever since the eleven hours of "Roots" on 
TV after the publication of Haley's book, 
there has been a boom in genealogy. 
Unlike many, I haven't experienced the 
urge to delve into my family background 
(I suspect my forebears are spectacularly 
uninteresting) , but because of a long and 
intense involvement with English litera- 
ture, I have felt a growing need to go to 
the soil where our cultural flowers took 
root. This summer I indulged that desire. 

For me, however, this trip was more than 
just seeing in real life the scenes I had 
so often read. For me, a devout 
Chaucerian, it was — as for those 
fascinating characters in The Canterbury 
Tales — a pilgrimage. 

Like Chaucer's fourteenth-century pil- 
grims, I began my journey in London. His 
pilgrims left the Tabard Inn in Southwark 
and traveled a couple of days by horseback 
to Canterbury; I left my hotel on Gower 
Street (named for Chaucer's contemporary) 
and reached Canterbury in a Mini 1000 on 
a four-lane highway in a couple of hours. 

Canterbury is much changed from what it 
was in Chaucer's day, but remnants of the 
medieval city survive. I drove past a 
section of the once-encircling wall and 
through the lone remaining gate — the 
stone arch of West Gate. Through narrow 
streets, some barely wide enough for a 
single car, past an occasional medieval 
or Renaissance house or shop (one that has 
subsided so much that its front door tilts 
a good twenty degrees off the vertical) — 
till at last I approached the ornate stone 
gate to the grounds of Canterbury 

And there it was before me: though I had 
talked about it in classes for years, I 
was not at all prepared for the beauty, 
the magnificence, the size of the cathe- 
dral. Like many a pilgrim before me, I 
went through the cloister on the north 

side to the same door Thomas a Becket 
entered in 1170, when he was pursued by 
the knights of Henry II. Just inside is 
the spot where the knights martyred their 

Past a painted commemoration of the 
assassination, down the stairs, I entered 
the crypt where Becket 's remains were 
originally enshrined. Then upstairs, in 
the area behind the altar, I came to the 
place where the more elaborate tomb stood 
from 1220 until the knights of a later 
Henry sacked it in the sixteenth century. 
Still standing in its place of honor near 
the site of Thomas's shrine is the tomb of 
Edward, the Black Prince, the flower of 
fourteenth-century knighthood. 

Around the altar, down the long 
fourteenth-century nave, out through the 
west porch — and back into the twentieth 
century. But I returned — at night, when 
the crowds had gone and the cathedral was 
illuminated so that all the encroaching 
buildings faded into the dark. I stood 
dwarfed by this giant monument to God 
which inevitably directs one's attention 
upwards. I stood there a long time. 

After a variety of other stops, I finished 
my pilgrimage when I returned to London 
and went to Westminster Abbey. Skipping 
the more popular tombs of Elizabeth I and 
Henry VII, I went to Poets' Corner. The 
crowds cleared out, as if they knew I was 
coming, and there it was — Chaucer's tomb. 
I approached and read the date, October 
25, 1400. I laid my hand on the tomb. 

Now, at last, I understand the meaning of 
pilgrimage: it is not just an act of 
veneration; it is a revivification, a 
renewal of the soul, a rededication to the 
values one holds dear; above all, it 
prepares one to face the coming year with 
a feeling of the spring in the soul with 
which Chaucer begins the Tales , "Whan that 
Aprill with his shoures soote . . ." 


by W. Anthony Gengarelly 

In May and December of 1977 I interviewed Roger Nash Baldwin, founder of the 
American Civil Liberties Union, at his New York City residence. Baldwin's 
career has ranged over a period of sixty-odd years and has embraced a number 
of causes in addition to civil rights. Since his retirement as Director of 
the ACLU in 1948, Baldwin has devoted much of his time to the International 
League for the Rights of Man, a United Nations affiliate. Now in his mid- 
nineties, he has a sparkling wit and almost total recall of a lifetime of 
intense activity. 

The experience of meeting and knowing Roger Baldwin, however briefly, is one 
I shall never forget. During our six hours of conversation I not only 
acquired a good deal of invaluable information about libertarian activities 
in the 1920s, but I also perceived in Baldwin's life and language an 
inherent multidimensional quality about human rights. For Baldwin, human 
liberty has a deep philosophical dimension and strikes a common note in 
every part of the globe. In these pages I have recounted those parts of our 
conversations which touch on the general character of libertarianism and 
which consider human rights in relation to certain political and economic 
systems, most notably those of the United States, India, and the Soviet 

In our first meeting I was searching for the motivational factors under- 
pinning libertarian endeavors. Baldwin mentioned the need for "sympathy 
with other people's plight," the kind of tolerance which respects someone 
else's viewpoint. He then made a brief declaration which was, for him, the 
substance of the issue: 

People act when they understand it isn't right to shut people up 
if they want to talk; it isn't right to stop people from organizing 
if they want to organize; it isn't right to deny you the right to 
read anything you want to read or see anything you want to see. 
And that brings us to the point, the important point, that rights — 
any way you look at them — are what they call "natural rights," the 
natural rights of man that don't depend on any constitution or any 
laws or any courts. They're what we are as human beings who want 
to talk and associate with our fellows, and that feeling about 
natural rights is so instinctive in people that where you have 
repression, they tend to rebel against it. 

Q. How, then, are these "natural rights" 
expressed within a legal-political frame- 
work? When might individual conscience, 
for instance, assert itself over against 
an unjust law? 

A. Civil disobedience is often a very 
important social force. You have to dis- 
obey bad laws, and I think you have to be 
prepared to take the consequences, too. 
© 1978 by W r Anthony Gengarelly 

Q. What about self-imposed exile to evade 
a bad law? 

A. I don't believe in evading things. I 
wouldn't have gone to Canada during the 
Vietnam War. I don't think evasions help 
any cause. 

Q. If you had lived in Nazi Germany, would 
you have fled from Hitler's persecution of 


A. If I had lived in Germany at that time, 
I'd have done the best I could to get out 

of it. 

Q. Then perhaps you have to respect the 
system of justice before you are willing 
to accept the penalty for violating laws 
which oppose' your conscience? 

A. Yes, you have to have some respect for 
it, sure, 

Q. As a committed pacifist you went to 
jail in 1918, during World War I, for 
defying the Selective Service Act. Would 
you have fought in World War II against 

A. No. 1 took a very unreasonable, 
absolutist position that I would not 
personally take part in any form of 
violence; that I wouldn't be a policeman; 
that I wouldn't be a member of an armed 
posse; that I wouldn't join the army; that 
I wouldn't be a participant in violence. 
I felt so strongly about coercion in 
principle that I wouldn't coerce anybody. 
It would trouble me to cause anybody to 
be arrested . . . might do it under 
certain circumstances. I would if I saw 
somebody being attacked, and I had a 
weapon to prevent it. I'd use it. But 
those are different circumstances than 
organized violence. I've thought that 
many wars were justified; that there was 
no other way out; and that I knew which 
side I wanted to have win, but 1 wouldn't 
necessarily have taken part. 

Q. I assume, that for similar reasons, you 
also oppose capital punishment? 

A. I have always been opposed to capital 
punishment. It's a very hard doctrine, 
because some cases stretch one's 
tolerance. And one feels as Clarence 
Darrow felt — "Well, I never wanted to kill 
anybody, but," he said, "I read a good 
many obituary notices with satisfaction." 

Q. Does libertar ianism have any specific 
goal in our society other than realizing 
the rights of individuals? 

A. The major objective is to see that 
relationships between people . . . are 
fairly determined. People should have an 
equal chance to at least express 
themselves, to influence policy. That's 
what democracy is, a process of decision 
by majority with minority rights, and 
that's the best way you can make the 
system. We don't have a better way of 
doing it than that. But we have to be 
sure that the minorities are protected. 
That's always a difficult and ongoing 
task, because there's always a tendency to 
suppress minorities. The majority is not 
tolerant . 

Q. The ACIU as an elitist group, has been 
a powerful spokesman for the underdog. 
Is there anything inconsistent here with 
respect to socially prominent, 
intellectual, and professional elitists 
espousing general, democratic ideals? 

A. The ACLU is elitist. Yes, of course; 
why not? If you would look at the 
American democracy, what is it except a 
bunch of elitist groups? The so-called 
"voice of the people" happens at election 
times, and I suppose public opinion polls 
represent the voice of the people, but 
action is in the hands of strong 
minorities. This is a country with a 
network of very powerful citizen 
organizations that serve their own 
interests. In the proper sense of the 
word "elite," I think they are all elitist 
organizat ions . 

Q. Your elitist status and capacity gave 
the ACLU a certain measure of influence, 
didn't it? 

A. Oh yes, from the very beginning we had 

Q. Even though the ACLU has often 
dissented from the majority position in 
defense of minority rights, the 
organization has never really challenged 
the republican-capitalist system. Why? 

A. We are living within a capitalist 
society, and we think we can make peace 
with it, get along with it. We are not 
going to take on the reform of a 
capitalist society. We just say that you 



Mr. Peck 

was a white-haired, red- faced man of God 
with a wit from deep in the earth. 
The kind of man people cannot do 

He had sense and sensibility, patience 

and impatience, durability 

and fragility and sweetness and pain. 

And the will withal 

to meet you eye to eye. 

If there is a place where 
men and women 
live on 

he is treasured there. 

But if this earth is all. . . , 
Well, how can it be? 
To waste a Mr. Peck. 

by Charles Mclsaac 

can have change through the process of 
civil rights of people. Under a 
capitalist system, or any other system, 
you have to have the right to change 
things. You've got to be able to talk and 
meet and agitate and do all the things you 
do to make change effective. 

Q. But, doesn't the fact that libertarians 
are so committed to the functioning 
system limit what they can do in order to 
improve things? 

A. Of course it does. They are not 
committed to changing anything. They are 
only committed to seeing that the game Is 
fairly played. Officially, we are not 
asking to change the system, only asking 
that the system should work fairly. 

Q. Sometimes isn't it necessary to change 
the system to make it work fairly? 

A. We did it with the National Labor 
Relations Act. It put government on the 
side of the trade unions. It changed the 
whole system. It put government influence 

where It ought to be, where it never had 
been. But it did not fundamentally alter 
the basis of the system. The basis of it 
is private property. 

Q. You want private property regulated, 
however ? 

A. Yes. 

Q. But libertarians — yourself — fall into 
line with the American political 
tradition, which encompasses devotion to 
capitalism and representative government? 

A. Yes, of course ... A change in 
society from a basis in private property 
to socialism, to community owned property, 
would be a very revolutionary step, and I 
can't conceive of the ACLU taking part in 

In the course of the December 
interview our talk spilled over 
into Baldwin's international 


concerns. I asked him about the 
International League for the 
Eights of Man, which he helped 
to establish in 1946. 

Q. Just what is the league involved with? 

A. It is a small international body 
recognized by the U.N. We do what we can 
to bring some influence to bear on what 
the United Nations is trying to do to 
extend the law of human rights. The 
United Nations' efforts in the direction 
of human rights are far more extensive 
than most people realize because, although 
in law we have not been able to break down 
the resistance of countries to any kind of 
international inspection of what they are 
doing to their own citizens, nevertheless 
there are many United Nations agencies 
which are called upon to act on human 
rights everywhere. 

Q. Overall, do you see much future for the 
United Nations? 

A. Oh, sure. It has more of a future than 
it has a past Elaughs] . . . indicated by 
the fact that everybody wants to be there; 
nobody wants to get out. You couldn't 
get anybody to resign. They all have the 
understanding that there must be a 
universal organization if you are going to 
have, peace. 

0. What about President Carter's emphasis 
on human rights in his foreign policy? 

A. Well, that's of course very helpful to 
have him emphasize torture, imprisonment, 
locking people up for their views. He has 
done a very great service. But countries 
resist so much any outside interference 
that they don't reform when you tell them 

Q. Could Carter's policy backfire and 
serve as an obstacle for the oppressed 
inside other countries? For instance, the 
Russian dissidents. Has Carter's 
preaching to the Soviet leadership hurt 
their cause? 

A. Some people say that it does. I 
wouldn't think so. I don't think 
countries dare go to the extremes they did 

before, because they're respectful of 
foreign criticism. 

Q. What about the vote for freedom in 
India in March 1977? Was the major issue 
in that election the question of freedom 
versus authoritarianism, as many people 
have maintained? 

A. I think there is no doubt that locking 
up 50,000 people — al] the opposition — 
in a federated state like India was a 
profound shock all the way through the 
country. Mrs. Gandhi was practically 
forced into the election because there was 
so much opposition in the army and the 
police. The opposition could make a great 
case out of the democracy that India was 
so proud of. Although the strains and 
stresses In that society are very great, 
they hold together, and I think that's 
the only way they know how to hold, 
together . 

Q. You mean to say that the democratic 
ideal, which was attached to the nation's 
emergence in the late forties, is an 
important cohesive factor for the Indian 

A. Yes, ideally. 

Q. Here is another question that perhaps 
comes out of this. If given a free 
choice, would people always choose 

A. I don't know of any country that exists 
that voted itself into an autocracy. 

Q. But, aren't there many places in the 
world where rights and freedoms are. 
considered luxuries of secondary 

A. Oh, yes. 

Q. So, for these people, in Cuba let's 
say, rights and freedoms as we know and 
understand them aren't as crucial as the 
proper regulation of their economic 

A. Well, that's true. There's a lot of 
them that feel that way, I'm sure. 
Certainly they would think about eating 
before they would think about freedom. 


Q. Aren't human freedoms, then, the 
privilege of those who have attained a 
certain degree of economic abundance? 

A. You know, this "give me liberty or give 
me death" business is quite rare. People 
want to eat so much that liberty is only 
important if it's a dominant issue. 
Ordinarily — in answer to your question — 
ordinarily, people will sacrifice their 
liberties for their well-being. Welfare 
is more important. 

Q. Yet , ideals can take a primary 

A. They can under certain circumstances. 
I think it depends on the particular 
instance. I think it depends how strongly 
you feel and what the provocations are. 
You take the long struggle in the history 
of Ireland for freedom from Great Britain. 
The Irish were ready to starve for their 
freedom. They gave up everything. 

Q. Are the individual freedoms in our own 
country also of secondary importance and 
not too deeply valued by most people? 

A. Talk to the average American — Harris 
Poll, Gallup Poll would show you — a large 
part of the people are perfectly content 
with the kind of freedom and democracy 
we've got. They might distrust the 
government. They might think that 
corruption is rampant, but after all this 
is a prosperous country, and people have 
their private lives and their businesses 
and their properties. They're getting 
along pretty well. Why should they worry? 
They don't worry about their liberties 
and their freedoms. 

Q. People have often said that because of 
our affluence we have been able to afford 
our human freedoms. 

A. There's a great deal in that. 

Q. There obviously is. But weren't there 
times when things haven't gone well for 
the country, when it looked like 
emergency powers were necessary, and yet 
people were still conscious of their 
democratic options, in maintaining these? 

A. It's been amazing. We did it during 
our most desperate days. Lincoln was 
elected for the second time during the 
Civil War. It never happened anywhere 
else that T ever heard of. 

Q. We evidently have a deep-seated 
commitment to democratic freedoms. It's 
not on the surface, but it's there. 
Would we ever be willing to permanently 
relinquish our freedoms? 

A. I'm a great admirer of our historical 
record of democracy. I think its 
extraordinary in a country as varied as 
this country is and always has been that 
it should have pulled itself together with 
a consensus of how to get along, of how 
to run things. It's worked. It's been 
remarkable. I remember Emerson's remark 
about our living in a democracy. He said, 
"Living in a democracy is like living on 
a raft. It never sinks, but your feet are 
always wet." Tlaughsl Always that uneasy 
feeling that maybe it'll sink. 

The Periodical Press 


Part One 

Violence in football — professional, 
college, and high school — Is exhaustively 
examined by John Underwood in a three- 
part series "Brutality: The Crisis in 
Football" ( Sports Illustrated , August 14, 
21, 28). Underwood predicts that the 
level of mayhem now tolerated will lead to 
the demise of the game, I was saddened by 
what I read because I have loved 
professional football all my life. In the 
mid-1930s T used to cash in milk bottles 
to get enough money for a seat behind the 
goal posts at the Boston Redskins' games. 
The scenes I saw there are etched in my 
memory, the more indelibly for the bitter 
disappointment of too often seeing my 
heroes lose — like the day they held off 
Dutch Clark's swift Detroit Lions until, 
late in the game, Ernie Caddel scored the 
winning touchdown skittering through a 
wide hole, his jersey ripped off his back 
but his body erect as a statue. 


Another Sunday, Harry Newman, the New York 
Giant quarterback, hovered behind a 
bouncing Cliff Battles punt near his own 
10-yard line as two Redskins (only two: 
modern-day "pursuit" hadn't been invented) 
waited warily for the ball to stop 
rolling. Not warily enough, as it turned 
out, for Newman suddenly darted between 
them, picked up the ball, and ran it most 
of the way upfield while the hapless 
defenders, missing the tackle by a 
whisker, smashed head-on into temporary 
oblivion. For a few moments they lay 
as if dead. Ken Strong, the Giants' all- 
pro back, finished the 'Skins off that 
afternoon with a disgusting display of 
fine running and kicking — marking the date 
when I became a lifelong Giant hater, save 
for .the years when they were victimized in 
subfreezing weather by Vince Lombaidi's 
Green Bay Packers, whom I hated even more. 

The Chicago Bears of Bronko Nagurski, 
Beattie Feathers, and Bill Hewitt were the 
most awesome team in football. Right end 
Hewitt, wearing no helmet, destroyed every 
Redskin attempt to get by him; his skill 
at eluding blockers and stepping across 
the line of scrimmage was uncanny. 
Feathers, of the University of Tennessee 
and reportedly part American Indian, ran 
all over the place behind the stunning 
blocking of George Musso. And I can still 
see the incomparable Nagurski crossing the 
goal line from ten yards out carrying 
three men on his back. The Bears were so 
good that I couldn't bear them a grudge. 
They simply wiped the Redskins out. 

In 1936 Boston won the Eastern Division 
title. Cliff Battles, a Greek god of an 
athlete from West Virginia Wesleyan, ran, 
passed, and kicked better than Ken Strong. 
His broken-field running was beautiful to 
behold; and I swear I once saw him punt a 
ball 80 yards in the air. Behemoth left 
tackle Turk Edwards played both ways (they 
all did) with crushing efficiency. I 
especially admired the prowess of the two 
ends, Charlie Malone and Flavio Tosi, 
because 1, too, was an end — for the Fallon 
Field Hot Dogs, a sandlot team that had no 
business playing in its i 1] -equipped , 
haphazardly coached condition. But T 
was so steamed up by the Redskin games 
that every Sunday I ran, broken-field, 

over the mile of sidewalks from Fenway 
Park to the Huntington Avenue streetcar. 

At the end of the 1936 season — after he 
lost the championship playoff to the 
Packers — owner George Marshall moved his 
franchise to Washington where it has 
remained ever since. There, led by the 
inestimable Sammy Baugh, the Redskins went 
on to a decade of glory (spectacularly 
marred by a 73-0 championship defeat in 
1940 by Sid Luckman's Chicago Bears, who 
that day unveiled the man-in-motion T- 
formation which revolutionized football). 

The short-lived Boston Yanks succeeded the 
Redskins. I saw them in 1945 against the 
Green Bay Packers when the great end Don 
Hutson was at the close of his unexcelled 
career. Hutson, minus shoulder pads, 
toyed with Boston. On one scoring play he 
went straight down from the Yanks' 30-yard 
line, closely pursued, made a 90-degree 
turn by grabbing the goal post, and 
gathered in a perfectly thrown pass. 

That was the last pro contest I saw from 
the stands, and I kept but desultory track 
of the game for a few years. Then came TV 
and the Sunday afternoon mania which soon 
took on the aura of a religion. Lacking a 
local club to root for, my loyalties have 
been consecrated successively to Cleve- 
land, Baltimore, and for many years now 
the Dallas Cowboys of cool-hatted Tom 
Landry, whom I have charitably forgiven 
for having been a New York Giant. 
Starry-eyed, I overlooked the growing 
desecration to be described in Part Two of 
this article. 

— Charles Mclsaac 


W. Anthony Gengarelly, Assistant Professor 
of History, interviewed Roger Baldwin in 
the course of his research on the post- 
World War I Red Scare. 

Michael Haines, Assistant Professor of 
English, is a specialist in medieval 
literature and a freelance journalist. 

Charles Mclsaac is Director of Library 
Services .